A new era of environmentally-friendly transport has been ushered in with the signing of a contract worth over £700,000 to supply a pair of revolutionary railcars to run passenger services on the branch line between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town in the West Midlands.
Transport operator London Midland, train leasing company Porterbrook and supplier Parry People Movers have come together to bring two 'PPM 60' railcars into operation from December 2008.
The new vehicles feature lightweight construction and a hybrid system using flywheel energy storage, which dramatically reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions compared to conventional trains. The light axle loads of the railcars will also cause less wear and tear to the railway track.
The order follows the successful experimental operation of a prototype railcar on the same branch line in 2005-06, which led to Govia including the technology in its successful bid to operate the new London Midland rail franchise, which started operation of train services throughout the West Midlands and express services to London and Liverpool on 11th November 2007.
Once the new railcars are in service, London Midland will re-deploy the single coach train, previously employed on the service, elsewhere to improve capacity on other parts of its network.
Steve Banaghan, Managing Director of London Midland said, “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Parry People Movers and Porterbrook. Investing in new fleet is a key feature of the changes we are making to rail services across the London Midland network, of which this is just one part. Over the next two years, we will be investing over £240 million in new trains.”
Paul Francis, Managing Director of Porterbrook, said: “We are delighted to introduce this innovative new product into our rolling stock fleet. Parry People Movers railcars have the right operating and environmental credentials, and present new opportunities for developing branch line capacity in the UK.”
Caspar Lucas, projects manager for Parry People Movers, said: “The new railcars are the right solution for the Stourbridge branch line - efficient, clean and quiet. Our technology is perfect for these short branch lines and offers a new way forward, particularly for the re-opening of closed railways as well as on routes like this one.”
Notes to Editors:
PARRY PEOPLE MOVERS Ltd
Parry People Movers Ltd (PPML) was founded in 1991 to develop rail transport based on a new innovation: the flywheel energy store, which allows vehicles to run extremely efficiently and to recapture their braking energy for reuse when accelerating. The company's shares are listed on the PLUS Market (Ticker code: PPM).
PPML's rail vehicles offer the quality of modern light rail transport without the need for electrical power supply, giving excellent environmental performance and energy efficiency at lower costs than conventional technology. PPML technology can be used equally on railways and on urban tramways. PPML's vehicles are fully compliant with accessibility regulations. The technology used in PPML's vehicles is licensed to the Company by JPM Parry & Associates Limited, a West Midlands engineering firm specialising in overseas development, innovative transport and energy/environmental issues.
London Midland is the new company operating the new West Midlands' train franchise through the heart of England. Our network of services span from London in the south, to Birmingham in the midlands and Liverpool in the north. London Midland began operating on 11th November 2007.
Porterbrook Leasing Company Ltd ("Porterbrook") is a leading player in the rail leasing market. Porterbrook has a rolling stock fleet of over 5,500 vehicles on lease or on order, which includes about 4,000 passenger vehicles. There are supplied under operating leases to 16 of the 21 Train Operating Companies (TOCs) in the UK. The company also provides ongoing train maintenance services. Porterbrook has been highly successful in winning new train orders since privatisation, investing in over 1,500 new passenger vehicles and over 1,200 new freight locomotives and wagons, and in the refurbishment of much of its in-fleet equipment. In April 2000, the Porterbrook group of companies was acquired by Abbey National ("Abbey").